Rodrigues' half-century helped Supernovas register a par 142/3 in their 20 overs. The equation for Velocity was simple. They needed to score just 117 to qualify for the finals and end Trailblazers' hopes. Led by Danielle Wyatt's 33-ball 43, they managed 130/3 and despite losing the game sealed their spot in the final. All three sides ended with two points each, but Supernovas and Velocity's superior net run-rate saw them through. The two teams will again meet at the same venue in the final on Saturday (May 11).
The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side got off to a good start in their defence of 143 with left-arm spinner Radha Yadav removing 15-year-old Shafali Verma in just third over with a dipping yorker.
Hayley Matthews too fell soon when she missed a straighter one from Anuja Patil to be pinned right in front of the stumps for 14.
But Wyatt, fresh from her match-winning 46 against Trailblazers got into her stride nice and early. She thumped Radha for two sixes and a four across two overs and followed it up with another four off Patil. Mithali Raj too did her bit in ticking the scoreboard and collecting the odd boundary. Wyatt got a life when Harmanpreet fluffed a tough chance diving to her right at short extra cover and the Englishwoman made sure she let the opposition pay.
In all, Wyatt blasted four fours and two sixes during her knock ensuring she got her side close to at least the first goal of qualification. She eventually fell for 43 missing a fuller length delivery from Poonam Yadav to be bowled.
Once Wyatt departed, it was clear Mithali and Veda Krishnamurthy had made up their mind to go for the 117-run goal rather than the win and they did it expertly. The duo did not take any risks, kept the scoreboard ticking and made sure the team qualified for the finals.
The fourth ball of the 18th over, Mithali smashed Harmanpreet over covers to breach the 117-run mark and break Trailblazers' hearts. Mithali finished unbeaten on 40 while Veda too played a key role scoring a 26-ball 30*.
Earlier, sent into bat, Supernovas openers Chamari Athapaththu and Priya Punia were quickly off the blocks fetching a couple of fours each early. Pacer Shikha Pandey drew first blood for Velocity getting rid of Punia who miscued a back of length delivery straight into the hands of mid-off for a run-a-ball 16.
Rodrigues, coming into bat No.3, signalled her intentions early as she got off the mark with the most glorious cover-drive off Komal Zanzad and then backed it up with a gorgeous straight drive past mid-off. Even as Athapaththu struggled on a sluggish Sawai Mansingh surface, Rodrigues continued scoring at a healthy strike-rate to take Supernovas to 63/1 at the ten-over mark.
The duo's 55-run association for the second wicket ended when Athapaththu looking to dance down the track against leg-spinner Amelia Kerr was beaten in the flight and stumped for 31 (38b) with the scoreboard reading 84/2 halfway through the 12th over.
Rodrigues though remained unperturbed by the fall of her partner and continued playing her shots. She slammed Zanzad for back-to-back boundaries in the 14th over before depositing spinner Ekta Bisht for two successive fours the very next over. The last boundary also raised her fifty off just 31 balls.
However, Rodrigues found very little support from the other end with none of the other Supernovas batters getting any momentum into their innings. Sophie Devine fell for a 14-ball 9 while incoming batter Harmanpreet too found the going tough as Supernovas managed just 33 runs in their final five overs. Rodrigues plundered 10 fours and a massive six during her knock ending up with more than half the runs of her team's final total.
First Published: May 10, 2019, 6:12 AM IST